California residents who are interested in starting a business or looking for funding for their business may need to draw up a business plan.

The plan could tell potential investors or lenders what the goal of a business is and how it will work. Creating a plan is also great for people who are in the initial phases of business formation because it can help people focus on specific hurdles and opportunities related to their new organization.

One of the most important parts of a business plan is a cover page that contains contact information. It is essential that investors and lenders are easily able to get a hold of someone. The next part of a plan should be the executive summary, which will outline what the business will do and reasons why it should succeed. After this, a plan should have a company summary that includes where the business is, or will be, located and other basic information about the organization.

The following sections should include an industry, customer and competitive analysis. These will look at the market a business will be competing in, provide information about the business's target customers and identify competitors. This should be followed by a marketing and operations plan that will go over how a business will advertise and describe long term goals. The final part of the plan should involve a financial outline that will include how money will be spent and projected revenues.

In addition to creating a this plan, individuals who are looking to start a new business may also want to ensure they understand legal issues related to new business creation. A lawyer could help someone understand how state and federal laws may impact them.

Source: Forbes, "Business plan template: What to include", Dave Lavinsky, July 18, 2013